Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The quest for happiness.....

What does happiness, inner peace and contentment look like to you?

How do you know when you have reached the point in your life when you are experiencing these things?

For me, I imagined happiness to be a space where there is absolutely no pain, there is no dullness, no darkness. I imagined I would be full of laughter, energy and total bliss 24/7!

What I am learning is that happiness isn't necessarily fun, fun, fun 24/7. Although you may experience times when this is true, but you will also experience times when it is not. Happiness is inner contentment and peace.

I am beginning to realize that if in any moment you are feeling at peace, no matter what is going on around you, then you are in state of happiness, acceptance and grace.

There is a belief that happiness has to be the complete opposite of how we are feeling right now. If we are burdened by depression we believe happiness is complete and utter joy, laughter all the time. It's not fair to do that to ourselves though, because in that moment we feel even more hopeless because the realization of happiness seems to be too far out of our reach. It feels unattainable.

I realized something yesterday as I was laying around on the couch watching my favourite tv program. I began feeling unproductive, feeling I "should" be doing something other than lying around on the couch, something "better", less lazy.

When I allowed myself to bypass those thoughts I found that I was quite happy and content laying on the couch. So why do I need to change that? Why would I need to find something else to do if I am actually happy doing what I am doing in the moment?

Do you ever do this to yourself?

We are constantly standing in judgement of our now moment. It's all we have you know, this exact moment you are living in, the now moment. Why are we always trying to change it, manipulate it to look, feel and be better?

We bombard ourselves with stress when we do this and we grow farther and farther from our happiness goals.

I feel we need to connect to what makes us feel most at peace and then allow ourselves the pleasure of doing it.

What does peace feel like anyway? And how do we bring ourselves to that place? We've read the books, watched the YouTube videos, listened to countless self help audios but do we really know what peace feels like to us?

Wouldn't it be great if there was an inner peace instruction booklet. Not a fancy book with words and phrases we can't understand, but a simple step by step guide on how to find peace and happiness, nothing left unanswered and a quick approach to finding what we've been searching for our whole lives.

This wish ranks right up there with progress reports from the Universe!

Happiness and inner peace are things you find when you are living life on your terms, living life based on what feels good to you.

When we are not allowing ourselves to live anywhere near what our soul desires we are off balance and we are removed from our inner peace. That is when we put pressure on ourselves to do more, be more, have more.

I believe finding our way back to our balance, happiness and inner peace is an easy thing to do. If you can give yourself permission to let go of all the clutter.

Another point I'd like to make is that the feeling of peacefulness and happiness is most likely different for everyone. My idea of happiness may be different than yours because we are two unique individuals. I can try to explain to you how I feel while in a space of peace, but that may not help you because your space of peace has a different path and a different feeling. I think this is why I have been puzzled for so long by some of the books I have read. Sometimes I felt it was impossible for me to reach the state of happiness they were describing.

Ultimately, it is a process of getting to know yourself. We don't wake up one morning with all of the answers. We have to work at knowing who we are, what makes us tick, what brings us the most satisfaction.

Afterall, you are you, you know you better than you know anyone else on this planet. You may have ignored you for a while now, but it just takes the intention of finding you again to start the wheels of change moving in the right direction.

Taking one step towards being at peace with your life situation will move you into larger opportunities to explore that peace in other areas as well and eventually you will find there is no more need for judgement and criticism in your life.

It is what it is....that's happiness!

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